Globbing means matching files by name patterns containing wildcards.

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38
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does rm *(1)* remove all files in a directory?

I expected that: $ rm *(1)* would remove all files containing (1) in the name. I was wrong. It removed all files in the directory. Why?
34
votes
6answers
4k views

The result of ls * , ls ** and ls ***

I know using the command ls will list all the directories. But what does the ls * command do ? I used it and it just lists the directories. Is the star in front of ls means how deep it can list the ...
32
votes
6answers
33k views

How do you move all files (including hidden) in a directory to another?

How do I move all files in a directory (including the hidden ones) to another directory? For example, if I have a folder "Foo" with the files ".hidden" and "notHidden" inside, how do I move both ...
29
votes
7answers
3k views

why does ls -d also list files, and where is it documented?

when specifying ls --directory a* it should list only directories starting with a* BUT it lists files AND directories starting with a Questions: where might I find some documentation on this, ...
29
votes
2answers
15k views

How to use wildcards (*) when copying with scp?

Why can't I copy with scp when I'm using * characters in the path? scp SERVERNAME:/DIR/* . What configs do SCP need to allow * in the path? UPDATE: the problem is not on server side, pscp is ...
25
votes
7answers
23k views

Rsync filter: copying one pattern only

I am trying to create a directory that will house all and only my PDFs compiled from LaTeX. I like keeping each project in a separate folder, all housed in a big folder called LaTeX. So I tried ...
25
votes
1answer
961 views

Why does my regular expression work in X but not in Y?

I wrote a regular expression which works well in a certain program (grep, sed, awk, perl, python, ruby, ksh, bash, zsh, find, emacs, vi, vim, gedit, …). But when I use it in a different program (or on ...
25
votes
1answer
1k views

Does 'rm .*' ever delete the parent directory?

The expression .* is expanded by bash to include the current and parent directories: $ ls -la total 2600 drwxrwxrwx 2 terdon terdon 2162688 Sep 10 16:22 . drwxr-xr-x 142 terdon terdon 491520 Sep ...
20
votes
9answers
26k views

Converting multiple image files from JPEG to PDF format

I want to convert some files from jpeg to pdf. I am using following command. $ convert image1.jpg image1.pdf But I have 100 images. How should I convert all of them to corresponding pdfs? I ...
19
votes
1answer
703 views

Why doesn't 'find' show this file?

Using find with grep, one can locate files that match a pattern: # find | grep error ./solr-modifiedSolr4/SolrPhpClient/phpdocs/errors.html ./error_log ./includes/classes/error_log However, using ...
18
votes
2answers
874 views

What does .??* mean in a shell command?

The following command will tar all "dot" files and folders: tar -zcvf dotfiles.tar.gz .??* I am familiar with regular expressions, but I don't understand how to interpret .??*. I executed ls .??* ...
16
votes
4answers
11k views

How to copy some, but not all files?

So, you can use the * as a wild card for all files when using cp within context of a directory. Is there a way to copy all files except x file?
16
votes
7answers
1k views

How do I copy multiple files by wildcard?

I have a folder with a number of files in it ABC.* (there are roughly 100 such files). I want to duplicate them all to new files with names starting with DEF.* So, I want ABC.Page1 ABC.Page2 ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

What does `mv ./*` without specifying destination do?

I accidentally forgot to specify destination before hitting the Return key. Where does mv ./* without specifying destination move the files and directories under current directory to?
15
votes
3answers
704 views

What is the difference between [[ $a == z* ]] and [ $a == z* ]?

Is there is any difference between these two. [[ $a == z* ]] and [ $a == z* ] Can I have an example where they would have different outputs? Furthermore, how does the working of [[ ]] differs ...
15
votes
6answers
12k views

How to match case insensitive patterns with ls?

I would like to list all files matching a certain pattern while ignoring the case. For example, I run the following commands: ls *abc* I need to see all the file that have "abc" as a part of the ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Delete all files starting with a question mark

I have a folder in which I have around 4k files. Some of these files start with a a ? or ! character. I need to delete them but can't find an expression that would do so: rm -f ./?* just deletes ...
13
votes
1answer
482 views

How do ${0##*/} and ${0%/*} work?

I'm quite confused about the following regular expressions I found in a shell script: ${0##*/} ${0%/*} How do they work?
13
votes
2answers
346 views

Can I make `rm` interactive only when using globbing? (in either bash or zsh or both)

Whenever I rm multiple items at once with shell globbing and there's even the slightest possibility that the pattern expands to more than I expect it to, I always try to remember to add -i, but (of ...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

How can I remove all symbolic links with a special target?

With the command: ls -la * I can list all my symbolic links. How can I remove all symbolic links which are linked to a special folder? For example: In my directory usr/local/bin I have the ...
12
votes
2answers
409 views

Shell filename pattern that expands to dot files but not to `..`?

Recently I had a little mishap caused by a shell pattern that expanded in an unexpected way. I wanted to change the owner of a bunch of dot files in the /root directory, so I did chown -R root .* ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between “du -sh *” and “du -sh ./*”?

The title says it all. What's the difference between those 2 commands? NOTE: I'm more interested in the * and ./* part.
11
votes
4answers
901 views

How do I choose specific files in a different directory using bash?

I want to list (or delete, or do some other operation) on certain files in a directory, like this: $ ls /opt/somedir/ aa bb cc aa.txt bb.txt cc.txt $ ls /opt/somedir/(aa|bb|cc) ## pseudo-bash ...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

How do I delete everything in a directory?

I'm sorry for asking such a basic question: How do I delete everything in a directory, including hidden files and directories? Right now, I use the following: rm -rf * rm -rf .*
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Pattern matching on path names in bash

I want to act on a list of subdirectories in a directory. Consider: for x in x86-headers/*/C/populate.sh; do echo $x; done This gives x86-headers/elf/C/populate.sh x86-headers/gl/C/populate.sh ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Recursive glob?

I'd like to write something like this: $ ls **.py in order to get all .py filenames, recursively walking a directory hierarchy. Even if there are .py files to find, the shell (bash) gives this ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

rm -rf all files and all hidden files w/o . & .. error?

rm -rf /some/path/* deletes all non-hidden files in that dir (and subdirs). rm -rf /some/path/.* deletes all hidden files in that dir (but not subdirs) and also gives the following error/warning: ...
9
votes
1answer
15k views

How can I assign the result of a command to a shell variable?

I want to assign the result of an expression to a variable and concatenate it with a string, then echo it. Here's what I've got: #!/bin/bash cd ~/Desktop; thefile= ls -t -U | grep -m 1 "Screen Shot"; ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

what is wild card to select all directories in a directory

i want to set sticky bit for all directories in a directory excluding files. is there any wild card to do this? #sudo chmod g+s /var/www/<WILD_CARD_FOR_ALL_DIRECTORIES>
9
votes
2answers
345 views

What is the difference between “*.pl” and *.pl in grep? Why does quoting change the result?

What is the difference between: grep "string" . -r --include *.pl and grep "string" . -r --include "*.pl" The latter includes files in subdirectoried while the former not. Why?
9
votes
2answers
591 views

“grep -r foo *” vs “grep -r foo .”

When using grep -r you could search in all files with either * or . and it seems to return the same thing but is it really the same? Let's say I search for "foo", then I could write grep -r foo * ...
9
votes
4answers
13k views

How do I recursively delete directories with wildcard?

I am working through SSH on a WD My Book World Edition. Basically I would like to start at a particular directory level, and recursively remove all sub-directories matching .Apple* - how would I go ...
9
votes
5answers
441 views

Can I select only one result from a bash glob?

I'm trying to write a script for work to automate some reporting on an output. The Log files are (currently, it's being 'standardise' in the future) stored in this sort of path structure: ...
9
votes
1answer
7k views

How to download specific files from some url path with wget

If I don't want to have to download the files found in a specific url path manually, what options do I have? Using wildcards fail: $ wget 'http://www.shinken-monitoring.org/pub/debian/*deb' Warning: ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

cp with a single argument containing wildcards [duplicate]

If I have the following 2 files and 1 folder: someuser@computer:~/Desktop/test$ ls -l total 340 -rw-r--r-- 1 someuser someuser 45082 ago 5 09:56 file1.pdf -rw-r--r-- 1 someuser someuser 291836 ago ...
8
votes
7answers
4k views

How do I create a directory in all subdirectories?

Suppose I have a directory structure like this: $ [~/practice] ls a/ b/ c/ d/ Now I want to create a directory tmp1 in all sub directories of practice and I do this: $ [~/practice] mkdir */tmp1 ...
8
votes
1answer
545 views

Wildcards inside quotes

This will be an easy one, but in my memories, when shell scripting, using double quotes would allow expanding globbing and variables. But in the following code: #!/bin/sh echo *.sh echo "*.sh" echo ...
7
votes
6answers
6k views

Show only hidden files (dot files) in ls alias

I'm using the command ls -a | grep '^\.' for showing only the hidden files. I added the line alias hidden='ls -a | grep '^\.'' # show only hidden files to .bash_aliases file but this does not ...
7
votes
6answers
6k views

What's the best way to count the number of files in a directory?

If parsing the output of ls is dangerous because it can break on some funky characters (spaces, \n, ... ), what's the best way to know the number of files in a directory? I usualy rely on find to ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

How to silently get an empty string from a glob pattern with no matches

Say I have a folder with three files: foo1 foo2 bar 1. If I run list_of_files=$(print foo*) echo $list_of_files I get: foo1 foo2 2. If I run list_of_files=$(print bar*) echo $list_of_files ...
7
votes
2answers
941 views

How does a shell (bash, for example) expand wildcard patterns?

Assume that a directory has 100 files starting with the letter 'a'. If I do a grep <some string> a* from the terminal, how will the shell handle this? Will it expand the regular expression, ...
7
votes
4answers
7k views

How do I reverse a for loop?

How do I properly do a for loop in reverse order? for f in /var/logs/foo*.log; do bar "$f" done I need a solution that doesn't break for funky characters in the file names.
7
votes
1answer
328 views

What is the significance of the dot in bash commands and how is it different from an asterisk?

I'm trying to understand the significance of the dot in bash and how it differs from an asterisk. Can someone please elaborate? For example, what's the difference between cp -ar /foo/. /foo2/ and cp ...
7
votes
1answer
485 views

Why is bash extended-globbing variable substitution acting at the byte level?

I thought that bash variable substitution and globbing worked at character resolution, so I was rather surprised to see it acting at the byte level. Everything in my locale is en_AU.UTF-8 When ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

Test if there are files matching a pattern in bash

I am trying to write an if statement in bash to test whether there are any files matching a certain pattern. If there is a text file in a directory it should run a given script. My code currently if ...
6
votes
3answers
312 views

ImageMagick on multiple files

I have converted a single file from BMP to PNG with ImageMagick's convert using the command below convert CD\ Front.bmp CD\ Front.png I have many such files, thus I tried: for f in */*.bmp ; do ...
6
votes
5answers
4k views

How to copy all html files from a directory tree to a single directory?

I want to copy all the .html files in myDir and its subdirectories to ~/otherDir. Here's what I tried (it doesn't work): $ find myDir -name *.html -print | xargs -0 cp ~/otherDir usage: cp [-R [-H | ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I remove all sub-directories from within a directory?

This question is kind of a phase II to the first question I posted at here I have a directory that contains a bunch of sub-directories, .zip files, and other random files not contained within a ...
6
votes
7answers
12k views

List only regular files (but not directories) in current directory

I can use ls -ld */ to list all the directory entries in the current directory. Is there a similarly easy way to just list all the regular files in the current directory? I know I can use find find . ...
6
votes
2answers
262 views

Copying one file to multiple directories

I have a file that I want to copy to another 60 directories. The best way I can think of doing this is by making a bash script that has instructions to every folder like this: cp script.sh ...